In this episode, I invite my long time soul sister, Amanda Kieper, to the show. Amanda is a professor of speech and leadership development, a certified John Maxwell coach, and a clinical mental health counselor in Rockford, Illinois. We have a blast discussing:
*How we met and why divorce led us to a deeper connection
*How female friendships grow, evolve, and sometimes dissolve
*How personality impacts communication choices
*The importance of travel and adventure with friends
*Interrupting generational patterns of withdraw and avoidance in midlife
*Self-awareness and blocks to growth
*Grieving the death of your parents
*Designing a life with fewer regrets
*Gottman's emotional bank account and sustainable relationships
*How growing up in the trailer park influences our perspectives on life and love
Amanda was born and raised in the midwest about 90 minutes from Chicago, IL and 30 minutes from Beloit, Wisconsin. She earned a master's degree from Northern Illinois University in Interpersonal Communication in 1999 and went back for another Ms. Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling after she was diagnosed with panic disorder in 2004. Her passion and personal mission is to help others intentionally design a life with fewer regrets. She works with corporations, schools, and independent clients every month and it's the variety, adventure, and challenge of helping each new person uncover blind spots and reach personal mastery that fuels her flame. Her guiding values for 2023 are to live WHOLEHEARTEDLY in HARMONY with self and others and to cultivate more ORDER and discipline. She currently works at Rock Valley College and Forest City Consulting but dreams of one day living on the beach and continuing to do the work she loves. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and suggests that everyone read, Irving Yalom's, "Momma and the Meaning of Life."
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Host Terri Kellums 00:00:02 Hello and welcome to this week's episode of What Women Won Today podcast. I'm your host, Terri Kellums, and today I feel like this is a dream come true today. I have a very special guest, a very special co-host on the podcast with me, my beautiful friend, , woman I call my soul sister, , Amanda Keeper.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:00:22 Hello. So happy to be here. I'm so sorry it took me so long to accept your invitation.
Host Terri Kellums 00:00:28 I feel like we've been talking about this for like, what, almost three years,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:00:33 Literally.
Host Terri Kellums 00:00:34 So it's so exciting to have you here with me today. Yeah. h, Amanda, really quick, because I don't even know if I know all your titles. Tell everybody a little bit about Amanda Keeper, like all your, many, many hats you wear. I wanna hear it all.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:00:49 Okay. So I, my full-time job as I work career is, I work at a community college in Rockford, Illinois, and I teach public speaking and leadership development, and I absolutely love that job. But, , when I was my third or fourth year into teaching, I started having severe panic attacks. And I ended up going to the emergency room thinking I was dying and found out that nothing was wrong with my heart. It was an anxiety disorder. And I went back to the classroom and I decided, oh my gosh, these students who are saying they're super nervous about giving speeches are even way more nervous and, affected by this fear than I ever imagined because now I was experiencing it not because of panic, , not because of public speaking, but another reason mm-hmm. <affirmative> And I decided I need to go back and get another degree in clinical mental health so that I can help people in a more intimate way. So in, , 2008 I think I went back and I earned a, a master's degree in clinical mental health. So I also do private counseling. And then with you, Terry, I went to the John Maxwell Certification Leadership program, became certified to be a coach. So I have three hats. I say I have a coach, I have a client, counseling, and then I also have teaching.
Host Terri Kellums 00:02:09 Amazing. You're amazing. And this is, this is why all my listeners that she never has time to come on podcast with me, <laugh>.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:02:18 Well, I truly love all of the different hats that I wear and it brings a lot of variety to my life and I get to help a lot of people, and that's my passion.
Host Terri Kellums 00:02:25 So, and she just glows and she glows cuz she's so, so happy what she's doing. So, Amanda, you and I just got back from our trip, , to Cancun last night. Yes. I got home super late mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But when I walked in the door, , I thought, you know what, something smells different in here and <laugh>, and it wasn't a bad smell, but
Guest co-host Amanda 00:02:49 Didn't smell like a sc
Host Terri Kellums 00:02:50 <laugh>. It wasn't a bad smell, but we had been at a, a place where like the smell was part of the whole experience. Like every time we'd walk into a different part of the resort, we were like, what's that smell? It smells so great. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. , so I decided today I was gonna get out my, my, , diffuser and start trying to recreate that spa smell. But I really wanna put an invitation out there too, my listeners, if you have like a combination of essential oils that you use and you love to make your home smell like spa <laugh> or any other beautiful, wonderful smell, if you could go over to the what Women one Today Facebook page. Let me know what that is. I would be forever grateful for that. , if you do not already belong to that page, I'm gonna put a link down in the show notes today so that you can easily access it. But, , yeah, what do you think thost smells were, Amanda?
Guest co-host Amanda 00:03:45 Well, I'm not really sure. It, it just reminded me of when I go to a, a spa and get a facial. But I will say, it triggered me when you just shared that, that one of my best tips to help people with anxiety and panic, just an f fyi, is you unscrew the top of an essential oil. And a lot of times when people are having anxiety or panic, it's because oxygen is not reaching their brain. And the essential oil, if you just unscrew it and then take a deep, deep cleansing breath with that oil, you will get the most cleansing, , experience, and you will get that breath that calms your mind and calms your nervous system. This can also be done with cuties. , if you have them in the refrigerator, you just take a cutie, you peel it, and then you smell the scent of the skin. And you will also get that calming, , experience that your body really, really needs in that moment of anxiety or panic. So essential oils are good for so many different reasons, but I keep them everywhere I go, I keep them in my bag. And when I'm nervous myself or when I see clients or students who are trying to give public speeches, , I have them open thost up and just take really nice cleansing breaths. So
Host Terri Kellums 00:04:53 You had that on, on your nightstand in the hotel room and I opened it and I smelled it h. And just, just a little, just a little hint into, into mine and Amanda's friendship and our traveling habits together. Like, we don't always go to bed together, we don't always wake up together, <laugh>, but I saw thost and I like, oh, this really smells great. I put some drops on my pillow.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:05:14 <laugh>. Did you really? I didn't even know you did that.
Host Terri Kellums 00:05:16 I I could never even told you.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:05:18 No, that, I think that one was called calming. So you can go to any, you know, cvs, Walmart, drugstore, or just go on Amazon and just pick some of thost up and put them wherever you are. They will help you if you're going on a date or if there's someone new in your life and you're nervous, open that up and smell it.
Host Terri Kellums 00:05:34 You know what, I keep a eucalyptus one in my purse for when I go get massages because I get so stuffed up when I'm laying face down on the bed. I'll just take the eucalyptus and I'll just sniff it a few times. So I didn't even know I was doing something so purposeful, but <laugh> you are. Yeah. Good. Yeah. So, okay, so I had an experience day. You and I have both been your leadership trainer, we've been in leadership, we're certified coaches, speakers, trainers, , we have a lot of experience between the two of us. I came across a situation today and I wanted to put you on the spot a little bit and ask you what you thought about this. So I was at my gym this morning and I noticed this sign that hadn't been there before and I stopped to read it and it was all about getting a new customer to come in and, and become a member of Planet Fitness.
Host Terri Kellums 00:06:22 Oops. I just gave away the gym, but that's okay. Planet Fitness. And it was all about getting new people to come and join their membership or if you're already a member, to upgrade your membership to the next level mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, , so I'm reading it and I, I'm already at that level cuz I like the extra benefits that you get. Like you can invite a friend anytime you want, you can use their massage chairs and different things like that. This gym is so affordable. I don't know what it's like in anybody else's area, but it's like $22 a month for this gym and I love this gym, so it's
Guest co-host Amanda 00:06:51 Very affordable.
Host Terri Kellums 00:06:52 Yeah. So I'm reading the sign and I'm like going down and it says, visit this website to get your free Fitbit if you upgrade or join today. And a guy walks up standing next to me and he's reading the sign too, and he says, , oh. He goes, I guess that ends today. And I said, yeah, I guess you're right. And I go, here's the deal though. This, this is, I get it. Like these businesses want new customers, but I feel like this is a little bit of a slap in the face to a loyal customer.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:07:27 Hmm, interesting.
Host Terri Kellums 00:07:29 It's like, Verizon, let's use Verizon for example. Verizon will have these promotions and they'll say, join today, get a free this, get a free iPhone. Get free Hulu for six months, whatever. And here you are, the loyal customer that's been with Verizon for five years and you call and they're like, oh, sorry, that offers only for new customers.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:07:47 So here's what I would tell if, first of all, I would want to talk to the people that are the decision makers, and I would want to ask them, what are the objections to this, , sales pitch? Or what are the objections to this technique to try to get new customers? And I would hope someone would say, well what about the customers that are already loyal? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then right after that, , right, right after that pitch, I would say, and for our loyal customers, we're offering this for you this month right after it.
Host Terri Kellums 00:08:13 Yeah. I mean, you know, so I was in insurance for 16 plus years and I know firsthand that it is way better, more economical to keep a current customer than it is to fish for new customers. Imagine, you know, you're going out there every day, you're fishing for new customers. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's way better to keep a customer you've already have. So that's why insurance companies put like loyalty programs in place. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the longer, like, it's more of a captive insurance thing. So I'm talking like State Farm, Allstate, American Family Insurance. I'm not talking about if you're with a brokerage and they shop your insurance every few years, they, they typically don't have thost kind of discounts that I'm aware of anyway. But you know, the longer that you're with a company, the deeper your discount becomes. So
Guest co-host Amanda 00:08:56 Yeah. I can't even tell you. I, I was with Liberty Mutual for years and I got a call one, , day from Steve Herring, I don't even know if he's still around. And he's like, Hey Amanda, I just wanna check in with you. We have these new programs and we looked at your rates and we actually can get your same package and your same benefits for like $75 less a month. Let's sign you up. I was like, really? You're just calling me to tell me let's pay less for what you've always been paying. So Wow. Yeah. That kinda thing going above and beyond, so, yeah. Yeah. Okay. What's next?
Host Terri Kellums 00:09:27 Okay, so the purpose. So, so just to give a little backstory, Amanda and I became friends in like 2009. She and another friend had you tell the story of why you guys decided to do the book club, because I don't even think I know the full story, why you guys decided to do that book club?
Guest co-host Amanda 00:09:45 Well, my girlfriend and I had been friends since high school and she was just one of these super creative types and we always loved to learn and we loved this particular author, sarc, S A R k mm-hmm <affirmative>, who super fun and playful. And we wanted to have good conversations with girls. And so we decided, you know what? We need to do something next level. So we put together these folders. I don't know if you remember that. Well, you weren't
Host Terri Kellums 00:10:08 Original. I didn't get the, I wasn't the original group, so I didn't get a folder.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:10:10 Okay. Okay.
Host Terri Kellums 00:10:11 So you had to make that up to me someday. I want a folder. Damn it. I
Guest co-host Amanda 00:10:14 Definitely need to make that up to you. So we had, we went around and we put these folders together. I remember they were like green and purple and inside the folder there was like a notebook and there were readings from sarc and there was like a personal letter and an invitation to each girl who was invited to the book club. And we drove around and personally delivered them to everybody that we wanted to join us. And, , we started meeting at different people's houses. It ended up becoming quite the wine club <laugh> and some good discussion as well. , we were in our late twenties. We all had just been having children and it was just a great time with lots and lots and lots of fond memories mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, , it was really the time in my life where I had like the most connected girlfriends.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:11:00 Yeah. Now, a lot of that happened since then. And I know that many of your listeners can relate to that. Some of us went through the divorces. Some of us, , kind of grew in different directions with their spirituality or their religion. , other people had, , you know, really some traas in their light that they had to face. And we kind of started to drift away. And one of the things that I really appreciated about our trip, Terry, is that, you know, girlfriends have really been placed on the back burner of my life, , in what I call where I'm in the perimenopause stage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I feel like I've really withdrawn. , and I used to be super connected, like friendships and girlfriends used to be a priority. And then I started getting into like raising my son and my career. And now I'm extremely career focused. And so I think that trip with you was just exactly what my soul needed because I was yearning for that type of deep connection that you can only get from a really close girlfriend.
Host Terri Kellums 00:11:59 Yeah. And you know, when I joined the book club it was, , it was pretty well established. Yeah. So there were already, you know, what hap typically happens in a group full of women is you bond with certain women more than other women. And you and I didn't even connect right away.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:12:12 No,
Host Terri Kellums 00:12:12 We didn't. I think it was God years. I mean, so it was probably, I mean, this would take a lot of memory, which I don't have since I, you know, probably got like four hours of sleep last night. But I
Guest co-host Amanda 00:12:25 Think, and I was really counting on you, am I allowed to drink wine on your podcast? Absolutely.
Host Terri Kellums 00:12:29 I wish I was drinking with you. Cheers. Okay.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:12:31 Awesome. Cheers. Good tears. , so I'm, I'm counting on your memory too. I can't wait to hear it. So your memory was,
Host Terri Kellums 00:12:37 Yeah, I, I think you know, that, , as you said, like a lot of us women were going through different things and one, one of the things that you and I finally connected on, which is kind of sad in a way, is we were both going through a divorce.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:12:50 Yes, yes.
Host Terri Kellums 00:12:51 We were both super unhappy, but you had a younger baby and I had already been through a divorce and didn't really wanna put my youngest daughter through a divorce. And so, you know, here you are, you show up at these book clubs, lots of laughter, very little talk about the book, <laugh>
Guest co-host Amanda 00:13:07 <laugh> towards the end. I it really was very little talk about the book. I think the friendships became the focus
Host Terri Kellums 00:13:13 <laugh>. Yeah. And, and, and yeah, just a lot of really good conversation, like deep conversation. And so I think what happens, it's like a culture. So I think, you know, we talked about this on our trip, , this past week is if you are an employee at a company and you really don't fit in the culture, it's not always that you get fired, but you just don't feel comfortable there. And what you end up doing is leaving and finding a culture that's more comfortable for you. And I think that was sort of what was happening with the book club is the culture was changing and it was, it changed quite a bit over the years. , the culture was changing and the people who were really interested, I believe in that tight connection, that being able to be vulnerable with each other, sharing things that were going on with our lives, laughing like tho thost were the women that stayed in the core group and the other ones just kind of fell away after a while. And then I moved, I moved to Arizona in 2010 mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I was traveling back and forth from Arizona back to sort of close to where, you know, we both lived and you started saying, let me know when you're in town, I wanna come see you. Mm-hmm.
Host Terri Kellums 00:14:22 <affirmative>. And I was so
Guest co-host Amanda 00:14:24 Thrilled we truly got closer when you moved.
Host Terri Kellums 00:14:27 I think we did.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:14:28 Which is,
Host Terri Kellums 00:14:30 Yeah. It would be like, you know, you threw me my surprise bridal shower at your home and surprised me with some of the girls from our book club who I hadn't seen in a few years. And at some point you're like, we need to go on a girls trip.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:14:45 Yeah. And yeah. And I do say, I, I sorry to interrupt you, Terry. I do wanna say kind of going back to, to how people started to change mm-hmm. <affirmative> and get into a, like a poor group. This goes like multiple different directions. So a couple of the girls were going through a divorce and then there were others that had very intact happy marriages. And I remember, , my ex sister-in-law actually, Laura, she, she stopped coming to the book club because, you know, this the, the focus of the conversation for thost of us that were going through that really hard time, , were really kind of have a lot of venting about that. And she made a really healthy choice for herself that she wanted to focus on, like her marriage and like thost friendships that she had with intact relationships because she was kind of feeling some of that negative energy. So I think it's so fascinating that you said that. And it, and, and like as we grow older and as we hit midlife, and she was a little older, she was like six years older than me at the time mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you are so much more comfortable in making thost choices and saying Absolutely. Like saying like, there was a time for this. But you know what, I think I've kind of gone in a different direction. Yeah. And there's no hard feelings and , that's just the way it was,
Host Terri Kellums 00:15:55 You know? Yeah, absolutely. And the irony of that is that I was at your wedding, you were at my wedding, and now we are very supportive of each other's marriages. You know, I'm
Guest co-host Amanda 00:16:08 Oh, good points. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:16:09 If I'm coming to you and I'm frustrated with something that's going on with me and Brian or something like, yeah, you, you, you hold my feet to the fire. You're like, , but what about this? You know? Yeah. And, and I remember coming,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:16:22 No, Brian and I are both geminis to the audience, so know, so Brian and I are, Brian and I, Terry and I, you know, her husband is Gemini just like I am. And we are very like minded. So Terry is more like my husband Gary. And so she'll come to me with complaints about Brian and I'm like, wait, well hold on. He didn't do anything wrong. Like, let's look at this from a different perspective. Let's reframe this. Yeah. And then she'll do the same thing with me about Gary. And it's like, oh, there's some personality dynamics going on here. Terry's talked about the ideogram. There's some things going on that, you know, now that we're in a much like happier place, we can feed off of each other and really like listen and be open and willing to change our perspective on our own spouses because we're so much healthier.
Host Terri Kellums 00:17:02 Well, I think we're both invested in each other's marriages in a sense. Yeah. Because, you know, we don't, we, we know we have good guys. They're not perfect. They, you know, they irritate us sometimes, but, you know, we have good marriages, we have good husbands, and we just keep supporting each other through that. Yeah. But you know, you said something about Laura that I wanted to circle back to, just real quick. And she's just one example. , and I miss Laura, by the way. I hope she's doing well. I
Guest co-host Amanda 00:17:27 Know I'm gonna send her this podcast. I Yeah. So I love her. I love her. Yeah. She
Host Terri Kellums 00:17:32 Didn't mean an excuse though, so I'm gonna tell you a little story. So yes, my husband and I used to do this standing dinner night with our, our neighborhood group. And one night we just, we just didn't feel like going. And he asked me if I would handle contacting her and letting her know we weren't gonna come that night. And I was, I was like, oh, sure, of course. You know? So I, I let her know, you know, Hey, we're not gonna make it tonight. We'll see you next week. So he comes home later that day and he says, , well, did you let you know her know that we weren't gonna be coming? And I said, oh yeah. And he said, well, what, what did you say to her? And I said, I told her we weren't coming <laugh>. He was like, I know, but what,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:18:09 She's a Gemini. And he is like, but what'd you tell her? What was the ex excuse? Like, did you say like, I'm so sorry, and like <laugh>?
Host Terri Kellums 00:18:15 No, he was like, well, what excuse did you give her? Yeah. Right Babe, we don't need an excuse. Laura didn't need an excuse. It just wasn't fitting her life anymore. And you know, you don't need an excuse to say no. And I think a lot of women struggle with that. They, they want the excuse. It's, it's, you know, I have to apologize that I'm not coming and I have to give a really good reason why I'm not coming. And it, no. It's just simply I'm not gonna be make it Thank you for, you know, thank you for inviting me. Yeah. Story.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:18:43 Do you think women know, going back to your original example, do you think that it's women that don't need to give an excuse? Or do you think men struggle as well with that same thing?
Host Terri Kellums 00:18:51 , I'm, I'm, you know, I'm gonna say it's a, it's a personality thing. You know, like you and Brian are nber two on the Enneagram. , I would say you're, you're both very relational. Like relationships are super important to you and Correct. I'm gonna say for maybe the men out there that are twos, , that's, yes. You, you're probably gonna wanna give a good reason cuz you don't want them to feel rejected by you. Well,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:19:13 Right. Cause if that happened to me, I'd be like, oh, is this something I did? Cause Yeah. I'm so relational. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:19:18 Whereas your husband, Gary is most likely a one. I haven't evaluated him, but I know I'm well enough to to imagine. I think he's a one and I have a one wing, I'm a nine with a one wing and he's a one. I haven't figured out his other, I haven't figured out his wing yet. But, , so we're just gonna be probably just a little bit more matter of fact about it, you know? Well that
Guest co-host Amanda 00:19:37 One, that one remains to be, , determined and I can't wait to have a follow up conversation with you about that because actually Gary really struggles his, I think his, , biggest motivation is he never wants to disappoint anyone.
Host Terri Kellums 00:19:48 That's interesting. So maybe he's a one with a wing too.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:19:52 Could be. I can't wait. And actually I'm so glad you reminded me of that because I would love to have him take it and then us talk about it. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:19:59 And then Jackie,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:20:00 Maybe we could have our husbands on and like do like husband, husband and husbands, you know, like with the
Host Terri Kellums 00:20:04 <crosstalk>. Well, I'd be scared to have my husband on this podcast.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:20:06 I know. But it would be like the most listened to episode cuz they're so both so ridiculous. <laugh>
Host Terri Kellums 00:20:12 <laugh>. It's absolutely comical when we are on a trip together and we're doing a group text and the direction that it goes is downhill really quick. <laugh>. Yes.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:20:23 But they're ladies, if you have an obnoxious husband, you know what we're talking about, <laugh>.
Host Terri Kellums 00:20:27 Yeah. He, you know, my husband's the kinda, , kind of husband that you never wanna have 'em on speakerphone in a public place. Yes. <laugh>. Oh, he just
Guest co-host Amanda 00:20:34 Don't seriously if I have 'em on speaker, if I have Gary on speaker, I'm like, okay, honey, you're on speaker. Just an fyi.
Host Terri Kellums 00:20:39 I tell Brian that he still doesn't care. <laugh> he still doesn't care. My husband is, my husband's a blue collar worker with, you know, the, the mouth that goes along with the blue color worker <laugh>, you know?
Guest co-host Amanda 00:20:52 Yeah, no, you're right. You're right. So yeah, I think that's fascinating. , you know, kind of our history and then we became super close. I started to come see you in Arizona. We started taking like a yearly girls trip. , and then we
Host Terri Kellums 00:21:06 Only get to see each other one year. We only once a year. That's
Guest co-host Amanda 00:21:09 It. Once, once or twice a year. Yeah. At
Host Terri Kellums 00:21:11 The most. Yes. Twice. Yeah.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:21:13 So, so you know, we talked about when we were on this trip, like what is it that we want women to know about how important it is to stay connected at this stage in our lives? Like for you, and I know my answer, but for you, why is it so important that you prioritize this week away and you put your time and your resources and you know, away from your husband and away from your life in Arizona? Like, what keeps you coming back?
Host Terri Kellums 00:21:42 I got goosebps, so I'm gonna just take a little step back before I get to the president. And, and that is his, you know, I saw my mom just totally withdraw in midlife. , in fact, I was just talking to a, a friend of hers like a couple weeks ago that she had when I was a child and she said, your mom just stopped, , answering my calls or returning my calls or any attempts to get together with her. She just stops responding. And you know, I, I can think of like a handful of friends that she had that just all fell away and that part of it was depression, which happens for a lot of women in midlife when they're going through perimenopause. , but she was just so lonely, Amanda. And, you know, I think that is a fear kind of in a way that drives me a little bit because I, I say to myself quite frequently, like, God, I don't, I just don't wanna be like that.
Host Terri Kellums 00:22:33 I don't want to, I don't wanna totally withdraw to the point where I don't find it enjoyable anymore to connect with other hans. In fact, you know, my husband teases me because, and and he would've laughed if he were with me today because talking to the guy at Planet Fitness, looking at a sign, I'm in the grocery store afterwards, I'm talking to people at the Starbucks while I'm waiting for my coffee. You know, I'm talking to people in the grocery store about the tea or, you know, whatever it was. And I'm just super hyper aware and very intentional about staying connected now as it applies to you and me. , there is something that happens on our, it starts happening a little bit before our trip cuz we're like in anticipating what's coming. You know, we're both super excited about it and we get there and I don't think we, other than sleeping, I don't really think we shut up for about 48 hours.
Host Terri Kellums 00:23:21 My voice was hoarse, like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, , we just had so much to share with each other and, and, and the, the, you know, just the amount of connection that we have and how it compliments each other, you know, whereas like sometimes maybe I'm pouring into you with like more of like my health and fitness mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then you see things in me that, you know, as a trained, , mental health professional, the areas I still struggle in this areas of work I still have to do with myself. And you're able to kind of, I mean, not unsolicited, you know, by any means, but you're just kind of able to very gently introduce me to myself over and over again. Sometimes it's, it's, it's can be a little painful <laugh>
Guest co-host Amanda 00:24:08 That was so powerful, you were able to introduce me to myself.
Host Terri Kellums 00:24:13 You do,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:24:14 Like I'm reintroducing you to yourself. That, that is like such a compliment because in my career, my goals in any setting that I am in is to help people discover their blind spots mm-hmm. <affirmative> that are keeping them from reaching their peak level of whether it's performance at work or whether it's connection in their personal lives or whether it is, , with their children. You know, what are the barriers, what are the blocks? And what is keeping you from living a life that is more joyful, joy-filled and less, , you know, less suffering. Like, I, I just, you know, one thing that I know we'll talk a lot more on this podcast about, but my parents just both passed away last year. , my mom passed away from stage four ovarian cancer at 62 years old. And that was only after, , helping my father struggle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia for about seven or eight years that he struggled with cancer and then they died within, , four months of each other.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:25:19 And you know, when you lose your parents in, in less than four months, everything about your life starts to flash before your eyes and you go through deep depression. At least I did. And you start to like really center and focus on, you know, I am more, I am, I'm not going to be here forever. And we have one chance of this life is not a dress rehearsal. I have a sign over there on my, , cabinet that says, life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. We have one shot. And you know, when I think about why I go every year, it's because I did watch my mom give her life to my father who was a, a Vietnam veteran, undiagnosed post-traatic stress disorder her entire life. And I'm telling you, Terry, when you were talking, it was like I could see my mom in your story.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:26:11 And I do know that when my mom was with all of my relatives on the Cooper side, I would never saw her more, more joyous, more herself, more fully alive. And I feel so sorry and so sad that she didn't get to fully experience all that life has to offer cuz she deserved it. And I don't want to have thost same regrets. I want to help, in fact, in my coaching, , I, I told you this before, but I, I have a a sentence that is my, my mission is to help people, people design a life with fewer regrets. Right. Because we don't get do-overs. And a lot of times people regret more what they didn't do than what they did do.
Host Terri Kellums 00:26:52 Absolutely. You just brought back a memory. , when my mom passed away, , I found out during my workday and one of my coworkers just happened to come into the office and I just grabbed him and we were really good friends. I don't go around hugging all my male coworkers, but <laugh>, I just grabbed him and I was, was like shaking. And, and he said, what's wrong? And I, I said, my mom just passed away. And he said, do you want me to call Brian? And I said, yes, please. And Brian came and picked me up and he said, you know, where do you wanna go? And I said, I wanna go on the mountaintop. You and I are both very connected to nature. Water's a big thing for both of us, but nature in general is like a big thing for both of us. I think we reconnect with ourselves a little bit in nature.
Host Terri Kellums 00:27:36 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I wanted to go to this mountaintop and I'm sitting up there and I hadn't let myself cry yet. And, , he, he said, you know, what's, what what are you thinking about? You know, what's making you what's making you sad? Or, I can't remember what he said, something like that. And I, I said, , she never got to figure her shit out. You know, like she, she was depressed a lot. She was abused. She's, she was abused by many men in her life and she never really figured out how to find her voice, stand up for herself and, and really truly like seek out fulfillment. Like, you know, like there are women in this world and your mom was probably a little bit like this too, like that they're, they aren't thinking about thriving, they're thinking about surviving. And so when I'm sitting on that mountaintop, I'm like, she never got to figure her shit out.
Host Terri Kellums 00:28:30 Like, like I would've loved for her to say f you to somebody at least once in her life. I would've loved for her to say, no, I don't want that. I want this. And, you know Yeah. Life with fewer regrets. I mean, that nails it right there is if we don't, if we don't take this time of our life, this midlife portion of our life and figure our shit out mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you're right. We only get one shot at this. I I don't wanna be that person laying on on my death bed or, you know, you know, wherever I end up after this life looking down at my life and saying, what if I would've did this? What if I would've did that? Like, I wanna live my life fully. , yeah.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:29:12 So as you're talking, there's so much coming up for me. You know, I have always known that you are, I've always called you my soul sister. And literally it's almost as if you are my mom is being channeled through you. , my mom lived on a mountain to mountaintop mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when her father passed away, she said that she would go out on the mountaintop and she would cry like this very primal cry because it was the only thing that would ever help her feel better. And as you describe your mother, you are describing my mother and I'm learning right now, even though I've heard some of this before, in this moment right now, I am learning how connected our stories are and, and such a deep personal level, , that can't be explained. And I think that because of that we do have this still untapped so much to learn about each other, Terry. Yeah. , that I'm feeling in this moment. I'm feeling like an enormous gratitude for you. And even the stories that are coming up as we're having this conversation,
Host Terri Kellums 00:30:11 I love it too. I knew it would be amazing cuz that's, that's how we are together. In fact, in 2019, we finished our conference, we finished our certification program with the John Maxwell Group. We sat on this bench overlooking this beautiful area in Florida and we recorded a little recording and we put it on a Facebook group and it was, , your power is in your story. So you and I have been talking about the power of our story since 2019.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:30:42 Yeah. And until that moment that you told that story, I didn't realize that our stories are so aligned about our own mothers.
Host Terri Kellums 00:30:50 Yeah.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:30:50 Cause you were describing, how old was your mom when your mom passed?
Host Terri Kellums 00:30:54 She would've been 60. She died in December. She would've been 69 in March.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:30:58 So our moms both died young. My mom died at 62. Yeah. And, and, and their stories are very, very similar. , I, so I'm curious, you know, for your listeners what, you know, if, if, if you go back to the face group, , page after this podcast, like, what was your relationship like with your mom and do you have any ways of living out your life that reflect how you observed your mom living her life?
Host Terri Kellums 00:31:26 Yeah. You know, I think it was, it was a lot about that generation. You know, a lot of 'em are very stoic. They don't talk about things. , and I think we, we are, I think we are poised to be better than that. To, to share and to understand our traa and own our stories. , but I did belong to, before I started the podcast, I did belong to a Facebook group that was all about women in midlife, , going through, , the transition from perimenopause to menopause mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I heard, I heard story after story about I wanna be alone. It's easier for me to be alone because I hurt. I don't feel good. I, I I I gained a lot of weight and I'm embarrassed to be around people. , I don't wanna have sex with my husband because I don't have any sex drive anymore.
Host Terri Kellums 00:32:18 And they can be on, they can be on that Facebook group and maybe that's a great place for them to start, but I think we really need to take thost conversations to real life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think, you know, so it's, it's, you might have to dive into this one a little bit, , with your training, but I think, you know, it's easier for you to hold my feet to the fire because you have made so many emotional deposits into my bank account, like over the years. , you, you know, you have been there for me. I've been there for you. Like we have, , such a mutual respect for each other. And, , and try so seek so hard to understand each other that when you do have to hold my feet to the fire, I'm like, she, she never wants to hurt me. This is never about hurting me.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:33:03 No. And in fact, like after I challenge you on something, I, I always sit back and reflect like, did I go too hard? I can't tell you how many times this weekend where we would have a really in-depth conversation. And I challenge you a couple times and I would be like, you know, because my relationship with you is first and foremost my priority. And, you know, if I ever overstep that boundary, I think that I, I would hope that you would, you would tell me like, it's a little bit too deep, too too fast right now. Or, you know, this isn't sitting well with me. Right. And you'd be able to talk. And, and, and I think that as you think about for the women that are listening, as you think about the friendships that you have in your life right now, , I would really encourage you to ask yourself what are they bringing to you? You know, I think that as we get older, we really want our relationships to be reciprocal. So going back to my training, Terry, , positive relationships should really be reciprocal. I pour into you, you, you pour into me. , John Gottman is a wonderful, , marriage therapist who you can research about how to improve the quality of your relationships romantically, but it also applies to every relationship.
Host Terri Kellums 00:34:11 I think your voice scout out a little bit. It was John Gottman that you said, right? John
Guest co-host Amanda 00:34:15 Gottman. Sorry. Sorry. That's okay. John Gottman. , so John Gottman has this, , amazing research and we'll put it in the show notes. But he talks about the emotional bank account and how if you really want to be able to have a quality relationship, that you have to be depositing more positivity than you are withdrawing, , in a way that's negative. Right? So in, in marriages, for example, that, that are sustainable, they have a five to one ratio of positive deposits to every one negative withdraw or criticism or, , withdrawing from each other. And we'll talk so much more about that in another episode. But yeah, it's the same way in friendships, Terry. It's the same exact way in friendships. It's like, I, you know, every time you send me a text and you're like, checking in on me, or, , going back to, to a very serious topic, you know, you were at my house when my father was passing away mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:35:07 And I think if I have this right, and it was a blur, but, , I think you had to leave a day early and we had to make a really Yeah. We, we made a really tough choice and you had my back a hundred percent. And and you were like, Amanda, do you need to drive there? And I was like, no, I'm okay. I'm okay. Cuz my dad, we joked that he had like 12 lives mm-hmm. <affirmative> because he just was a Vietnam vet. And he kept fighting. He kept fighting. He was a war in death as he was in life. , you know, and you were like, no, I think you should listen to yourself. And my, I was listening to my gut and it was saying, go, go right now. You took the bus home. I got in the car with my husband and I got there at four 15 on August 15th, and my dad died at, at eight 15 on August 15th.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:35:54 So I got there within like, within like, th I think it was like three or four hours max. And I was able to send my dad off. , my mom couldn't do it and she asked me to do it. And she told me before she didn't need need me there. She absolutely needed me there. And it was one of the most sacred things I've ever done in my life. And that was because you were intuiting what I needed. You were intuitive. And I think that's what good friends do is they will, sometimes I don't even have to say what I need and you'll articulate it for me.
Host Terri Kellums 00:36:29 It's, it's just, it's a constant. , , like you said, it's, you said it a little bit ago. It's like so much gratitude, so much gratitude fills you and you know, like we, we go on these trips and, you know, I, I gotta tell a little side note. So my husband and I had gone on a, a trip and <laugh>, we stayed in some questionable places because we didn't plan head very well. And well,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:36:55 We have to, we have to tell the listeners that I have a very, like, high expectations and I have this joke that's, , in my dad's southern accent. , this is not what I'm accustomed to
Host Terri Kellums 00:37:07 <laugh>, but the hilarious part is we both grew up in a trailer park,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:37:10 <laugh>. Right? We both grew up in a trailer park. So like, that's why it's so hilarious. Okay. But anyway, when you go with Brian, Brian truly is like a simpleton. He does not want anything fancy. Yeah, he
Host Terri Kellums 00:37:20 Does not. Brian does not need fancy, in fact, we joke about this with our friends. Like I, I, I am a foodie. I love good food and I wanna go, I like when I wanna go out to eat, it's usually kind of an experience for me. Whereas he will joke with people and no, he's not even joking. This is like a real thing. He'll say, I like the Cracker Barrel <laugh>. You know, so.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:37:40 Totally, totally.
Host Terri Kellums 00:37:41 So, you know, when, when we go Amanda and her husband own a vacation club, , what do you call it? Package or program or I don't know what you call it,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:37:48 Club. Yeah. We, I, I love to travel. So a long time ago we got suckered into one of thost things and yes, I'm trying to use it so that it's not such a, a pain, you know, but
Host Terri Kellums 00:37:56 Doesn't go away. Oh
Guest co-host Amanda 00:37:57 Yeah. It's, , so it's like that secrets brand or like now secrets. Now dreams Zori. So Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:38:04 When, when you're Amanda, let me choose <laugh>, she, we couldn't go outta the country cuz of Covid <laugh>. So she's like, you, you pick. So, you know, I've got, so I have to say this is one of the things I I'm still working on for myself is because I did grow up so poor, I'm still trying to overcome thost limiting beliefs about my financial situation. You know, like I still have a scarcity mentality sometimes when it comes to money. You know, that feeling like, well, don't waste and I'm a huge, like, don't waste that because you know, you might not get it again. Or you might, you know. So I have kind of Yeah,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:38:40 You were telling me like even with food, like you try to like save every little thing. Yeah,
Host Terri Kellums 00:38:44 I do. Yeah. I'm like thinking how many meals can I make out of this? Or, you know, just how can I stretch this or whatever. So I I have never outgrown that, , feeling that maybe there might be lack still in my future. So it's, it's something I'm constantly working on, but we're in this beautiful place, you know, we're, we're in this beautiful environment. Mexico is undoubtedly like the most hospitable culture that mm-hmm. <affirmative> I've ever experienced truly. And, , you know, we're, we're lounging by the pool and we're having these amazing conversations. We're laughing. And the whole time the the level of gratefulness just kept piling. Like it kept building and building and building. And it's funny because I think then it like pours back out of you. Like, you, you just want to give it to somebody else because you're feeling so full.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:39:36 Right? No, I couldn't agree more. And that's why I'm always trying to, and you, you know me, I'm always trying to tip a ton of money there because I feel like, you know, we have different resources in our life and, , the, the people in Mexico, their resource is their soul. Like they are the kindest people I've ever met in my life. , and you know, me, I I love to get to know them, their families. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> their culture. I love to, you know, I get their, their phone nbers like email, Facebook, social media. , I love to immerse myself right into the culture of wherever I go. And, , I just, you know, if, if, if I have a resource that they need and they have a resource that I need that res reciprocity, that reciprocity that we can like fill each other up in different ways is one of the most beautiful things in life.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:40:30 So I could not agree more with you, Terry. I felt so full of gratitude. , I'm not gonna lie, when I got home the whole day before this podcast, I've been stressed out about the money that was spent on the vacation mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I still have that scarcity mentality as well. , the guilt set in like, oh, now I've gotta like pay for that trip I just took and Right. You know, it, it's tough, but at the end of the day, I have no regrets. Like, I would do it again because I can make more money. I can go back to work and I can counsel and I can coach and I can train, I can pick up an overload. I can work harder. I want to have the connection that I have with you and it's worth every dime. So.
Host Terri Kellums 00:41:10 Well, and I thought you were going to go down the pi, which I love what you just said, but I thought you were gonna go down the path of, it's, it's, it's an investment in yourself. Isn't that you just
Guest co-host Amanda 00:41:18 Good point. Yeah. Great.
Host Terri Kellums 00:41:19 I mean, it's, it's not just an investment in our friendship, which it totally is, but it is an investment in yourself. Because when you come back, when I come back, when you come back or when, when women come back from this kind of an experience, yeah. You're, you're recharged, you're refreshed, you know, and I think, I think not enough women, especially the ones that are still raising children, they don't, they're, I think we talk a lot about self-care. I think we we're coming a long way, but I still think there's a guilt factor when you go get a massage or when you get your nails done or buy yourself a pretty top or something. Like, this is a deeper level of self care than taking a bubble bath. This is,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:42:01 Yeah. And, and I told, like I did have a couple girlfriends that text me when I was on vacation with you, and you know, they're long for that and they seek that. And, and I am telling you, we could go on a two hour road trip, Terry, if we lived in the same state and have just as much fun mm-hmm. <affirmative> and go hiking and starved rock, or go to Lake Geneva and walk around the lake. Like, you don't have to go anywhere fancy. Just take time for people that fill your cup. And that's, you know, find, find a girlfriend that fills your cup that you trust and that you know has your back. And that her te her intentions are always for you to be the best version of yourself. , because that's irreplaceable. , it's interesting. In my public speaking class, I showed this video about the, the, , it's actually called How Gaming Can Add 10 Years To Your Life by Jane McGonagal. You can find it on YouTube. We can put that
Host Terri Kellums 00:42:56 So notes too.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:42:57 Yeah. And in her presentation she talks about the five regrets of the dying, and she noted that people, one of them is people said, I wish I wouldn't have worked so hard. Nber two was I wish I would've spent more time with my friends and family and the people that I cared about. Another one was, I wish I would've lived a life true to what I wanted and not what other people expected of me. Like there were, I mean, honestly like for nbers four and five, listen to it because I don't wanna take up your time and I wanna pique their curiosity. Listeners. I'm telling you, it's, it's a fascinating, fascinating show about, , Ted talk about resilience and how to live with intention. And I think for me, why I keep taking this trip is because I want to live with intention mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I want to be the best version of myself.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:43:51 And every time I come home from a trip with you, Terry, I feel inspired, I feel motivated. , I woke up this morning, Terry introduced me to this app called Pep Talk, and I've already introduced that to two people. I already took a walk today, I've already been doing like the things that I've been putting off. And that's the thing is like, who is rooting for you? Like I, in my career, I pour into so many people, mom's listening, grandma's listening, you're pouring into your kids, your grandkids, like who's pouring into you? Right. That's my question because what I discovered this weekend and I told Terry is, Terry, you're the one that pours into me. And I don't think I get that as much anywhere else in my life.
Host Terri Kellums 00:44:32 Yeah. And I, I, you know, I told Amanda, which I think she probably already knew this, but like, I ha I have struggled with vulnerability because, , you know, there's a level of shame when you grow up in abusive household. Like, you feel like if people really knew what was going on in your household and how tru truly poor you really are, like, they don't wanna be friends with you almost like it's, it's catchy or something, you know. And, , for whatever reason, Amanda, she's such an amazing, you are such an amazing listener and you are so curious and you bring out these topics and they go to my heart. And I, I don't think anybody else in my entire life has ever seen me cry as many times as you've seen me cry. And it's, you know, it's all been very, it's been very good for me. It's, it's always growth, you know, it's always growth. , but there's pain that comes with growth. And I think, you know, we need to recognize that sometimes is, you know, growth isn't just all about, you know, oh, I, you know, I read a book and I learned a new skill today. It's, you know, it's sometimes it's digging into some of the wounds and, you know, digging off an old scab before you can truly heal properly.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:45:42 Sometimes. I couldn't agree more with you. And it's interesting because Terry, , the pain that I experienced today was how you inspired me to use my body more instead of being, , so sedentary. And so I decided to do water, , yoga, water aerobic, <laugh>. And today I'm in a lot of pain because Terry is very health conscious and Terry eats well, and she exercises and I have gotten into a, an extremely bad habit of being extremely sedentary. And I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's the truth. And so, , my body hurts today, but it hurts in a good way. And I'm inspired to keep going. So. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:46:20 Yeah. So I think, I think we're gonna wrap up. , there was my dog, someone came the door. Yeah.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:46:24 I think the dog was telling you it's time. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:46:26 , we, we challenged each other this weekend to, to answer the question, if you had three wishes, what would they be? So I think I'm gonna ask you that question. I'll answer it too, but I I have one more mm-hmm. <affirmative>, , related question that I'm gonna surprise you with that I didn't tell you ahead of time. I was gonna ask you. Ok. Okay. But you wanna start with your wish first? Just one, not all three. Just one. Okay.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:46:48 So just, oh, so one of the wishes that I have, honestly, , I'm gonna put this one out there. I wish that that, Terry, you and I maintain this and we're more consistent about it. I've made a joke many, many times to people I care about that. The only thing I'm consistent about is I'm consistently inconsistent. And my wish for this year, from this day forward is that, , Terry, you and I would be more consistent in, , connecting instead of waiting until our trips, because I really need this in my life.
Host Terri Kellums 00:47:20 Oh man. We are still so connected. Even my answer is, is very connected to that one. And, and that is that, , I am so routine and so like Amanda knows, like, if she forgets something on the trip, she knows I'm gonna have it. Only this time it flipped a little bit. I forgot deodorant and you had some, but
Guest co-host Amanda 00:47:40 Oh, we're so, , complimentary. Like, my weakness is your strength. Yeah.
Host Terri Kellums 00:47:45 So true. So, , one of the things I was telling her is, you know, like I can, I don't skip workouts. I'm not gonna say never, but I'm very, I'm very good about workouts and my, my healthy eating habits, and I make my bed every day, and I don't like to go to bed with, , dishes on the counter. Like, so these, all these things about my life, but there's just one area of my life that I need to be so much more intentional about. And I, I don't think I'm gonna say it here today, but I might share it again in the, or I might share at some point in the future when we, when you come back and, and be on here with me again. But that's my wish is that I could, , apply that consistency in that routine and that habit to a very important part of my life that would, , make a lot of difference.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:48:29 Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So, so there's one area that you wish you could apply the same consistency that you have to eating, working, out, taking care of your lovely home, your husband Got it. Okay. I got it. Yeah, I'm checking.
Host Terri Kellums 00:48:40 Okay. Here's, here's the final question. This is what we'll sign off with today. ,
Guest co-host Amanda 00:48:44 All righty. Ready?
Host Terri Kellums 00:48:46 I wanna know what you think women want today.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:48:48 Oh, that's such a great question. I think women want less suffering and more peace of mind.
Host Terri Kellums 00:48:57 Wow. We could really unpack that. Maybe we'll have to unpack that on a future episode. But yeah. Amanda, Mrs. Keeper, my soul sister, my friend. I love you. Thank you so much for coming on here with me today. This really was like, seriously, a dream of mine since the beginning of this podcast, and I was just so thrilled to be able to sit down and talk with you today. Thank you so much.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:49:19 Yeah, I'm, I'm so grateful and I'm, I'm just sorry I didn't do it sooner and hopefully I'll, , make some more appearances though.
Host Terri Kellums 00:49:26 I would love it. I would love it. All right. All right. And tell next time everybody please. Remember to take good care of you.
Guest co-host Amanda 00:49:33 Take care.